Physiotherapy Concussion Care Treatment in Kingston
Assessment. Treatment. Management. Discover if concussion care can help you.
What is a Concussion?
A Concussion is a form of brain injury resulting from either a direct blow to the head, face or jaw, or a sudden forceful movement of the head causing strong internal forces in the brain. A Concussion can result even if there is no loss of consciousness at the time of injury. Symptoms can be subtle and may go unrecognized. The injury to the brain causes alterations in brain function, potentially causing a combination of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms.
The time frame for recovery from a concussive injury varies widely with some recovering within a couple of weeks while in others recovery will be slower, taking weeks, months or even longer. There is usually no obvious physical damage to the brain tissue on imaging and there is no one specific test that confirms a Concussion occurred. Diagnosis of Concussion is usually based on the presence of a combination of symptoms related to the injury.
Symptoms of a Concussion May Include:
- Balance problems
- Sleep Disturbances
- Light or Noise Sensitivity
- Mood Changes (irritability, sadness, nervousness)
- Mental Fogginess
- Concentration/Memory Problems
- Visual Disturbances
The first thing you do if you suspect you have a Concussion is to let someone know that you are experiencing symptoms. You should not be alone until you can be assessed by a physician. If you suspect you have a Concussion, do not return to sports or regular work and school activities until you have been medically assessed and cleared.
You should rest completely, including “screen” or visual rest until you have been medically assessed. Concussion assessment does not need to include a CT/MRI unless a more severe injury needs to be ruled out.
Your next step would be to be assessed by a trained Concussion Care physiotherapist who can provide the care you need to manage your recovery.
The treatment you receive may include:
- manual therapy (if you have associated neck pain)
- specific rest strategies and home recommendations
- modified school and/or work requirements
- specialized rehabilitative techniques (e.g. vision therapy, balance retraining, vestibular rehabilitation)
- education regarding recovery strategies specific to your individual injury and symptoms
After sustaining a Concussion you should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible and then book an initial assessment with a physiotherapist with Concussion management training. You will have a thorough post –injury assessment and a management strategy will be developed to facilitate your recovery. In addition to a complete medical and injury history, this assessment may include:
- Balance testing
- Strength and Coordination testing
- Visual motor skills testing
- Vestibular (or equilibrium) testing
- Gait assessment
- Generalized neurological screen
- Orthopedic assessment of secondary injuries (e.g. neck, shoulders)
A complete evaluation could take place over a few visits, depending on the status of the individual and severity of symptoms. If there is a baseline evaluation (often done pre-season with athletes) available, post-injury findings will be compared with the baseline results. If no baseline testing has been done, the healthcare professional will use the post-injury results as a starting point. Individualized management strategies and treatment will be determined based on findings.